For those who were watching the news the end of last week, you may have seen some of the reports of the unseasonable catastrophic rains that Israel experienced. Tragically, lives were lost in Israel due to the flash flooding. The same weather also affected Syria. When I spoke with Pastor R, he told me that at least 450 tents were blown down in areas where there were House of Blessing missionaries. Some of these tents were damaged or even ruined. Brothers Omar and Same, with the help of about 200 missionaries and volunteer believers from the HOB Christian community, helped get as many of these tents reset as possible. Even Pastor R’s tent had to be reset. Many mattresses, blankets, and people’s meager belongings were brought down into the mud. Many mattresses were ruined.
The photo to the left is not current but gives a good idea what the conditions were like this past week. Unless we can imagine the circumstance these folks are living in, we really don’t have a concept of the misery they endure during this kind of weather. We really need to lift our Christian brethren up in prayer and help them as the Lord lays it on our hearts. The Apostle Paul put it like this in his letter to the Galatians:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ…And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:2, 9-10
In Hebrews 6 we find these words:
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end…Hebrews 6:9-11
The weather is just an added difficulty for the people. As we well know, they already deal with death on a daily basis caused by the continuous conflicts, especially in Syria. Pastor R’s 12 personally trained disciples once again spent an enormous number of hours burying at least 140 who lost their lives due to the weather. That number reminds us of how important it is for the missionaries to reach people with the gospel before they enter eternity.
The reaction to the great miracle when God raised 20 from the dead continues. Sisters Mufiedah and Fatwa, along with many from the Widow Sisterhood were able to pray the sinner’s prayer with another 540 since the last update. People are awestruck by the miracles God is doing, and they find it easy to believe in Jesus the true Messiah.
We have read much in the news about thousands of people being evacuated in different areas. Many people are just running here and there, not knowing where there is any place of safety. Sister Sarah and the 70 missionaries working with her were able to minister to over 900 of these since the last update. A large number of these not only decided to stay close to the community of believers, but they also accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
In the last update, I mentioned that preparations are being made for Ramadan 2018. Pastor R has urged as many HOB missionaries as possible to get rest before Ramadan. Once it starts, the missionaries minister almost around the clock. By the time the month of Ramadan is over, the missionaries are exhausted. But, the Lord has brought in a great harvest of Muslim people who began the month fasting and praying to Allah, but after hearing the Good News about Jesus, the true Messiah, became followers of Christ instead.
This year as always, there is a great need for more Bibles. Any help received by the House of Blessing is greatly appreciated. In addition to Bibles, the need is present for wheat, and now mattresses, blankets, and other supplies that were ruined by the bad weather. Medicines are always needed as well. One of the greatest problems in these refugee camps is diarrhea. The people often suffer with this for long periods of time and that of course causes dehydration. This has been very hard on many of the new believers, especially when they are nearly working around the clock helping others.
In conclusion to this update I would like to emphasize how critical this time in history is–especially in the Middle East. We are hearing more and more drum beats of war. According to Bible prophecy, Israel will be embroiled in more than one major conflict right at the end of the age. We see this unfolding before our very eyes today. This however means that lives are going to be lost…MANY lives. Pastor R is already preparing his missionaries with a new strategy to use when the next major conflict breaks out. Let’s pray for them in earnest. The Bible makes it very clear that Damascus and the entire surrounding area is going to be decimated, as are other parts of the Mideast, especially northwestern Iran. The HOB missionaries are expecting a great war and are refusing to fear it. They know that they are going to be in the Lord’s presence immediately if they lose their lives, but they would like to reach as many of the lost as they can before they also pass into eternity.
Please pray for these faithful House of Blessing missionaries, and please consider helping them with their mission. Every single HOB missionary lives totally by faith. None receive a salary. All gifts for HOB are put into the work of the ministry. We don’t know the exact timing of the Lord’s return but we know that we are in the season. This could be the last opportunity to reach lost souls before the major war comes, which will make reaching people much more difficult. We also know that the Days of the Gentiles are about to end. Let’s all finish well! Thank you!
Forever in His Service,